American Idol is caught with their ‘Pants on the Ground’

29 01 2010

General Larry Platt, ladies and gentleman. A soon to be internet superstar, for his smash hit on a recent American Idol episode, ‘Pants on the Ground’. While wacky and flavorable, this song lacks some serious lyrical merit along with personal dignity. Larry Platt, who calls himself, “General”, Larry Platt, is a 62 year old man from Atlanta, Georgia; battling for a spot on Americas dwindling hit show. Dwindling? The majority of American Idol ratings are received during the first week of auditions and is often spoken as , “The only part I bother to watch…”. Why has American Idol gone down hill?

Self-respect. No self respecting organization bent on the progression of modern pop stars and pop icons can possibly claim a torch of high regard when General Larry is prancing around with his pants on the ground. His boxers are showing, and they have Simon Cowells face all over them. With falling ratings, it seems to me, the viewer, that they are reaching into the wrong cookie jar to give me a treat. Show me Susan Boyle, show me underdogs and beauty queens with tits and a voice. That’s what america wants isn’t it? Apparently not.

Between William Hung and Larry Platt and a slew of otehr miserable hopefuls, American Idol is cashing in the checks of the ignornat and deranged just to deny them on technicalities in an attempt to save them the embarassment. Larry Platt was turned away on an ‘age issue’. He’s not OLD Simon, he can’t sing, nor can he write lyrics. (which according to Yahoo! News, could have been Plagiarized) If you’re going to sell dysfunctional at least own up to it, tell them they’re ridiculous so they can stop trying to become something they are not nor will ever be. The question remains, with “Millions” of digital, call logged, voters, can American Idol stand the test of time? More importantly, can American Idol keep from drowning themselves in their own bounced checks? We will see Cowell, we will see…





Carcassonne

27 01 2010

Carcassonne, while not very obvious from it’s title, is a strategy game on the XBox360 arcade. Being adapted from a board game, you wouldn’t expect it to be any good. I mean, why would you play a videogame when you can play the board game instead? Well, the videogame blows the board game out of the water. The controls are extremely simple, and anyone can pick up the controller and be able to play it in minutes. The basis of the game is to put down tiles on a board. The tiles have different shapes and pictures on them, be it a road, 4-way intersection, tree or a building. The point of the game is to get the most points. You get 2 points per tile for a city (made from a bunch of buildings together) and 2 extra points per tile if there is a pennant on it. You get 1 point per tile for a road (To complete a road, you must have an ending of some sort at each side of it, much like a real road). You have followers as well. You start with 7 of them, and you can put them down on tiles, which make it known that they are yours, and therefore, your opponent isn’t able to take a territory out from under you midgame. However, when your in a 2-player game you tend to run out of them quickly, so you must be conservative in those games. You also gain points for the amount of cities and roads you have at the end of the game, and that is where the scores get close and that lead you had during the game might get taken from you.

Now the highlight of the Xbox version as opposed to the actual board game is that you are able to play online. The online gameplay is probably the most crucial point of the game, as it allows you to play with anyone. There is a cult following of the game, and while it might be a tad difficult to find a game, eventually you will and the game shows where it shines. The Xbox vision is also compatible with this game, which makes the game more board-like, as your face to face playing it, something that I welcome with open arms.

While the multiplayer is a huge part of the game, you are able to play single player with/against an AI. Yes, there are team games, and they can get very intense. The AI is actually good at the game as well, so don’t think your going to win all the time, because it’s going to win. A lot.

The music, being generic and repeated, isn’t obnoxious or annoying at all, which is something that you don’t see very often in arcade games. While the graphics aren’t spectacular, they work for the game. It wouldn’t have been necessary to have graphics on par with Modern Warfare 2 for a board game, and it is good that they realized that when making the game.

All in all, Carcassonne is an awesome game, and one that you will find yourself playing for a long time. With its easy-to-learn and simple-yet-fun gameplay, you’ll find yourself addicted to it in no time. Find it on the marketplace for 800 points.

Ratings

Gameplay: 10

Music: 8

Visual: 10

Lasting Appeal: 10

Presentation: 10

OVERALL: 10

-James





Comcast Digital Cable

27 01 2010

Comcast, Where to even begin with this company…

I have had my own place for about two months now, not my first, but my first in the U.S. Cable Television isn’t necessary, but internet is, and not just internet but fast internet. Now don’t get me wrong, this review isn’t over the internet, but you need to know that, if it was up to me? The cable television would have never entered my home. I was forced into the situation by the outrageous price per month if i were to buy a single service (such as internet or Telephone by themselves), and the significantly cheaper price if I paid for 2, or even 3 services per month. So, I bit. Don’t bite, hang up the phone, don’t even make the call to Comcast, Shaq and Ben Stein answer the phone anyway…

The price reduction for two services is the only acceptable reason I could have for purchasing Comcast’s Cable TV. What’s wrong with it? What isn’t wrong with it. Watching a certain segment of channels is near impossible due to the digital squares that appear randomly, over and over and when they surface to your TV screen? They take the sound with them. It’s similar to watching someone play Mario on a larger scale, and every time he jumps? The sound goes out. Goomba after Goomba, channel after channel, digital, square blocks take over the screen and suck the sound into digital hell.
The Solution? Call customer service and have them reset your Cable box. Does it work? Yes. Just long enough to get them off the phone with you and the theft of your money ensues with the click of your Mobile telephone. (Face it, you didn’t get the Triple Play option that includes a home phone, that’s just more problems.)

What should you do if you already have Comcast Television? CANCEL! Get on a horse and ride, ride, ride out of town, carry that lantern and warn the public that Comcast is coming. Don’t fall for the OnDemand, or be fearful of the Dish option. Call Comcast and cancel your service. When you’re done? You’ll get a follow up call where they try to get you, the already dissatisfied consumer, to pay monthly, for MORE products. That’s right, they’ll try to up you from a $70 Double play, to a $110 TRIPLE play. I asked the caller, “Why would I, only paying $70 and already unhappy, want to buy more of your lack luster products, for MORE money?” She actually laughed, multiple times, told me that she was happy to have me as a customer and as I pressed the power button on my TV for the last time until AT&T arrives, she told me to have a good day…but who can with shotty Television?

Steve-





New Music Video: KiD CuDi

27 01 2010

Mr. Cudder came out with a new video “cudder-is-back”.

What does this video say about Cudi and his music? We find within the first few moments Scotts relief that a friend shows up with some Mary Jane. An extended hug and invitation is received by the unknown Wise Man bearing gifts. It seems to the viewer Scott has a new found happiness with Mary Jane in his hands. Is his happiness dependent on the magical product? I believe so. Laughing and joking, Scott sits alone, singing his own song, not only self-absorbed but absorbed in the ‘blunt’ he is about to roll. The Fish eye lens used allows for an extended picture to capture his acquaintances, a word I use purposely. What if they didn’t bring weed? Would he be equally as happy? Scott is back, but what if Mary Jane didn’t come with? The video leaves a salty taste of unfulfilled, plastic happiness in my mouth.

On the up side? The video is completely non subjective of the lyrical content. His music is creative and induces unique imagery for each listener. Videos for music like Scott’s can completely change the mental image the listener has, and then changing how the listener interprets the lyrics. As a reader, and a writer, I know that what the audience brings to the table is where true creativity thrives in any medium. His video accomplishes a visual stimulus that fits well with Scott’s lifestyle, and the song itself, without being subjective, or forcing imagery on the viewer. Besides the false emotional solace, Scott has found a humorous, catchy and appealing video to say, “Listen, Cudi is back.”

Steve-